San Francisco Giants 2017 Preview of NL West: Colorado Rockies
The Rockies made some big name additions this offseason, but maybe one of the biggest ones was another year of experience for a young team. What the Denver Post is kind of outlining as their likely rotation for 2017 has an average age of 24.8. Jon Gray is setup to be the ace of the staff, getting the opening day start for the Rockies. All this to say, three of them return and are all under the age of 28. If you threw Chad Bettis into the mix instead of one of the young guys, the average age would still be around 25.
They have a young staff, and a lot of them have at least a year and a half’s experience in the big leagues. That extra year of experience for them is so vital to their growth as players, and could potentially set them up for a breakout year as a staff.
But, a real roster addition comes in the form of Ian Desmond, Michael Dunn, and Greg Holland.All three were on big time $ deals.
Desmond brings a .285 average, 22 homers, and 86 RBI to a hitter friendly park in Coors Field. Expect those numbers to climb. Throw in the fact that he stole 21 bases last year, the Rockies added an all around offensive threat, to an already powerful lineup. For some reason, people are bullish on the move mainly because he’ll likely be the first baseman, a position he hasn’t played in both the minors or big leagues. But frankly, it’s first base. If Billy Butler could play first base, so can Desmond.
Then you move to the bullpen, which was a pretty big concern for the Rockies in 2017, and they add Mike Dunn and Greg Holland. Dunn had a really good two year stretch through ’13 and ’14. In 2015, he struggled, but rebounded in 2017 which was more near his career average in numbers. He holds a 10k’s per nine innings rate, and a career 1.365 WHIP. He’s not an eye popping addition, but has been a solid reliever over time.
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Greg Holland is probably more of a question mark, as he hasn’t pitched since 2015. Holland’s Tommy John surgery knocked him away from a potential fortune after being one of, if not the best closer in baseball in 2012-2015. It’s hard to imagine Holland jumping right back into his years of FIP ratings under 2.0 with 13k’s per nine innings in tow. If he can put up numbers like 2015 even, I think the Rockies would consider it a win with that gamble of a contract.
Another big addition is one Mr. Bud Black. Bud Black brings years of experience of trying to get a team to punch above their weight, during his tenure with the Padres. Sadly, the Padres just could never give Black enough talent around him to give him actual credit for being a good manager. There were plenty of years where the Padres shouldn’t have come close to .500, but he got them there. Black has plenty of young, controllable talent at his disposal now, and the Rockies might just be a scary team to deal with now that Black is at the helm.